Thanksgiving ( Shurniak Exhibit)

“Money is quite ordinary.” she said. “Important, yes, but, in itself, ordinary.”
“Yet, in exchange for it, I receive something extraordinary, this painting, unique to anything else in the world.” “So you see, I feel I receive the better of the deal, and it is I, who should be thanking you.” Client.

“I never sent a thank you card to a client.” Robert Genn wrote, “I felt rather, it should be the other way around.”

“You should be paid for your blog post. People need to understand your research, time & effort to keep us informed, entertained & educated. You contribute more to the art world than paintings. You are one of the hardest working artists in the industry, hands down.” Dealer.

“For goodness sake, whatever you do, don’t thank people for coming, they should be privileged to be there, and you need to understand that.” Collector.

I did thank people for coming, for traveling in a fierce prairie snowstorm to the Shurniak Gallery on opening day of my solo exhibit last Wednesday.

An Artist’s opening address usually focuses the collection, biography, narration of self reflection.

My opening statement didn’t touch on the collection, instead, was steeped in gratitude, recognizing Mr. Shurniak’s contribution to the art world, in thanks to my family & those attending.

I don’t cater to my desires in my work, but to you. Always it’s about connecting humanity. The very moment artwork is released publicly it’s an attempt to communicate & engage.
If art was self expression, it would be kept private.

If you have been following along in the 10 years that I have not missed writing a blogpost, you know the depth of gratitude I have for my family, collectors, mentors, & dealers, etc. You have ideas where my inspiration originates, what fuels it, and how I work to maintain it. I don’t believe I have natural talent but skill I work hard to develop, diligently listening to professional feedback, & observing client response.

There are amazing stories to share about last week’s events. Recognizing this fact brings a huge sense of gratitude.
Yes, again the thankfulness.

Expressing thanks is practice of good manners, whether it’s recognizing a small kind gesture, or those who traveled 6 hours in a snowstorm to the exhibit. ( which my family did).

Gratitude expression is also a positive internal and vocal reminder. 
Recognizing what/ who contributes to ‘positivity’ or’ success’ feeds inspiration, comforts in times of struggle, fuels dedication, joy, and accountability.

Its wise not to confuse gratitude with lack of worthiness.  “Don’t you think you deserve it?’ a client asked when I thanked him. Not comfortable with the word ‘deserve’, which suggests entitlement, I do wholeheartedly believe in the work, it’s value,my worthiness of abundance in health, love, and yes, success too.

Before we convey last week’s stories, my thanksgiving today is focused on the art itself.
What I have witnessed it achieve, its engagement, contribution, it’s wonder.

Listening to you in the beginning of this post, perhaps we are a part of something nearly undefinable. Something ordinary in exchange for something extraordinary.

Also given the rare privilege to glimpse Mr. Shurniak’s passion & extensive diverse collection thru his eyes, I see art has an ability to transform, to transcend.

Magic exists, it’s alive the moment people are in art’s midst. You can feel & witness the energy exchange like sunbeams parting the sky on a snowy day.
Understanding dawns on faces glowing with delight. You feel it in the hugs and handshakes of those present, hear it in their heartfelt whispers, and tearful sentiments. You feel it in their gratitude. Being in the midst of art is an unstoppable loving force. A freight train of empowering colour and energy.
A train I dreamt of and now, joyously see it’s result.

Thank you, to art.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.


All new work is available for purchase. email me

New collection shown in various photos.

Included close up of:

“Manitou Sun” 18×24 oil on canvas $1100.00

“Red Canoe, Boreal” 24×36 oil on canvas $2170.00 

“December Light” 18×24 oil on canvas $1100.00

~For those curious, my opening address, in full, below.

“What a pleasure it is to see you all here today, in this beautiful gallery!!
How many of you have been to the Shurniak before? It’s amazing, right?!! an incredible collection!

My first experience in an art gallery was at the encouragement of an adjudicator who came to our small Saskatchewan town when I was in high school.
“Go to the city, “ she said, “see what the art world is all about.”

Saskatoon’s Mendel Art Gallery was hosting a popular New York artist at the time.
Yet it wasn’t his exhibit that intrigued me. Instead, I was drawn to the quiet corridors that housed the gallery’s permanent collection. In awe, I knew I stood before greatness.

Mr. Shurniak, by generously sharing your amazing extensive diverse collection with the public, you not only delight art lovers, you create them.
You inspire veteran artists and those yet to be, like I was all those years ago.
For this, and for hosting my work among these masters, I thank you.

Papa, for your love, for the positive role model you continue to be, to you & all the boys, Darin, Marc, Nicolas, for inspiring me by pursuing your own creative passions, living your lives with integrity & kindness I thank you.

In dedication & memory of my late Mom, my compass, who embraced the colour of life, encouraged my creative fire. I like to think a light that shines so bright, never really goes out.

To all of you, who have carved time out of your day, traveled in snow near & far, thank you for coming & welcome to HOMECOMING.”

Welcoming Engagement

Cave paintings served as communication such as “Bison herd at the river,” or “Beware! tiger behind the big rock.”
Depending on drawing accuracy, they may have offered entertainment value too.
Cave art announced status “I have a horse,” recorded events, genealogy, & conserved history.
Similar to modern day vision boards painted scenes like “hunting magic” were for abundance of prey.
Depicting religious elements, Gods were painted larger & fancier than the other guys.
Artists were often considered Shaman with a worthy place among society.

Somewhere in history paintings lost the distinction of serving people, by becoming something ‘for’ the walls.
We hear evidence of this often.
“My dining room needs a painting. The living room is crying for a piece. Our lobby needs art. That hallway needs… something.”
Rooms themselves don’t give a hoot.

Art is for & all about you in the best way. It will enhance your dining experience, enrich living, comfort patients, occupy & stimulate clients, entertain visitors and keep you company. Transition areas with art will orchestrate inhabitants ‘room’ experience. Ie: Pastel mauve hallway paintings leading to bedrooms entices restfulness.

Paintings aren’t passive, but an active engagement, a real life energy exchange.

Like the art of our cave ancestors, they relay story element, educate & inspire. They become members of the family in a way, hanging around for generations. Paintings are windows to wilderness and possibility. It’s lovely to have reminders of rivers & rocks, without tigers lurking. Art can be an invitation to wander in nature.

Impressionism is a balance between abstract and representational, breathing life into both modern contemporary spaces and traditional.

Spaces don’t transform with art. Art transforms the lives within those spaces.

Yet, art may still be an afterthought.
This came to light during a meeting with an investment firm manager about their art collection. Rather, their lack of one.
Touring me thru glassed offices after hours, it ‘didn’t come to mind’, she said “despite spending a lot on renovations,” gesturing me to the lobby with 3 plastic chairs, a plant and outdated magazines.

Reception staff and lobby are the first impression of your company.
Viewing bright windowed luxury offices with cushy chairs offered a different impression than the lobby tucked in a corner with uncomfortable seating.

Thou unintentionally, it sends a less than positive message to your clients. If this room is an afterthought, so are they. Asking clients to invest, without investing in them, you face challenges before you begin. Seeing to their comfort and experience builds relationships. It expresses you value them & the relationship.
Attention to what seem like smaller details have huge returns. Great coffee served in a tasteful pottery mug, comfortable seating with a window or art view, nature ( the plant counts) pleasant scents and sounds contribute to a positive experience, set the foundation for positive meetings to follow. ( or in clinics, positive treatment).

Original art, comfortable handmade wood chairs, side tables with real books, pottery mugs ( not styrofoam) offer tactile experience,  state conscious consumerism &sustainability.

This attention to detail gives a lasting impression, rather than a temporary feel. Have you sat in a sparse lobby with disposable furniture, no pictures, wondering if the business is moving or closing?

Strongly influenced by visuals, paintings were our first language.
What does your vision board look like? what influences surround you, your family, staff, clients? You have the power to make a difference with your choices.
Welcome clients ( patients, visitors, guests) a quality experience and you both reap rewards.

~ All original paintings are available for purchase. email

Wooded Trail, Autumn Woods, Mountain each 4ftx3ft oil  $3950.

Sunrise Pond 24×36 oil  $2170.

Quiet Morning ( NEW) 9×12 oil on board $480.

Amaryllis 30×40  oil  $2700

Wooded Trail in Morning ( New in progress) 12×36 oil $1200

~ to see my upcoming video to this post, watch my instagram page!

~ All handmade furniture crafted by Marc Banning. Handcrafted serving bowl by the Pottery Cupboard. 

Success Stories

What’s your success story? Have you shared it with others?

Experts state happiness precedes success. Witnessing others achieve paves the path to your own happiness.The positive energy you feel for them feeds your success.
In our hunting & gathering days when one in the tribe benefited, the entire tribe did as well. Apparently, we still have that hardwired in our brain somewhere.

“Have you noticed people may easily share upsetting news, yet are reluctant to share the good stuff, because it may be ‘bragging?” a friend said.
Burdens shared weigh less, we also feed off of good news. It fuels our own pursuits and dreams, because these stories bring hope.

A wise suggestion delivered when I was 7 inspires all aspects of my life.

This story begins with a babysitter who could draw.
I remember waking up, wandering into the living room in my pjs, seeing her cross legged on our couch, drawing with a pen. Sitting on the floor beneath her, so not to disturb, I watched the pen take flight from below. Sometimes she offered little drawings of my favourite subject, horses. Cheryl lived on a farm just outside the park, and would often arrive riding her own. Really!

I was bananas for horses.Those tiny drawings inspired a way to have all the horses I wanted, by drawing them myself.

I drew repeatedly, creating unidentifiable squiggles. Perhaps two hands better than one, I would grasp the pencil double fisted. After several attempts, the only thing I produced were frustrated tears. Mom came by, casually leaning on the doorframe of my room asking the reason for my distress. She responded, “So, do you really believe she learned overnight?”

It wasn’t a magical hand or pen? A lightbulb went off.
I sparkled inside with possibility & hope. She learned to succeed, so could I.

Its that whole tribe thing all over again. We all benefit!

So, what did I do after Mom lit a fire under my butt?

My parents believed in letting us figure things out on our own.We lived remotely, there were no galleries, in or after school art programs, and few books available. Computers didn’t exist. I was too shy to ask my babysitter for help, the only artist I knew.

How did I learn?

I decided horses were too hard to tackle when I could’t draw anything. I looked for books with artwork in the house. Comics were ideal. I tackled Archie, Lady & the Tramp, & Tweety bird. Peanut characters were a favourite. Snoopy shapes are easy, but “Good Grief” Charlie’s head is not completely round. I struggled drawing his head accurately to the point where I used filmy paper to trace the shape. I did it over and over, then would take to my solid notebook and try to reproduce the shape freehand.. over and over.

What I was doing with Charlie’s noggin, unbeknown to me, was a form of muscle memory training.

It took 7 years before I could draw a decent horse.

When art was offered for the first time in Grade 11, the teacher took me aside & said, “Never study, they could ruin you. You are a natural.” What she didn’t realize, I was anything but. I had been as persistent as a dog with a bone for years.

If the path has been long & challenging, or it’s been easy, success doesn’t necessarily mean accolades. It can be discovering what you love to do, or a place you love to be.
It might be reaching an acceptance, or nailing that interview.
Shout your joy from rooftops and create a ripple effect.
Likewise, celebrate in others good fortune.
Ride that wave of happiness together.

Kenosee Lake, Moose Mountain Park was one of our favourite homes. Moving to a park in the far north when I was 10, it was 40 years before my father, brother & I returned in 2016.
While wandering an art & craft exhibit near the park, a woman leaned over asking, “Dawn?”

Its remarkable Cheryl would recognize me 40 years later.
Moments before, unknowingly I was viewing her art, when my brother snapped this photo.

He grinningly said to her after’ “This is how you I remember you, loving animals and drawing. To see you continue with your passions, is SO INSPIRING!” I agreed. Thanks Cheryl, by being authentically you, you showed a little girl the art of possibility. Credit to my late Mom, for lighting that fire. ~

Autumn Park  20×24 oil   $1200

Roses  14×18   $825

What’s new? videos! Fans are requesting more interactive media including videos. Thanks for your positive support on the first two little spontaneous minis! The most recent #Foundations, below. Follow along to see more in the future! All new work in the video is available for purchase. ( if you are unable to access video link below, click on my instagram icon at the top of the page).

Download Video



“Our currency is what we are able to make.” Robert Genn

One of the reasons galleries/artists don’t include pricing on websites is to initiate dialogue with a client. We want to have conversations about what draws you in, sparks your interest, and how we can accommodate you.

From personal experience, its also because….. people often don’t read.

Example: a client sees a painting they love online beyond their budget. They leave the site & don’t return. They may not realize that painting is 10 feet, or investigate pricing structure, flexible payment plans, leasing, or commissions for various budgets.
Perhaps not realizing it’s an original, or as a client said yesterday, “has it been pressed in a factory?”

In cycling, one way to build endurance is to put time in the saddle.

I realize we may be newly acquainted, your inquiries include my working history. What kind of miles have I put in? does price reflect this? Today we will cover pricing, investment, value, and have some fun.

For starters, against every art business guideline..  I’m directing you to my contemporaries.
Below is a PRICING BY SIZE chart of my work &  Canadian contemporaries: similar genre, style, representation. I have included a couple of my absolute fav’s and for reference, a Canadian ICON.

Click highlight links to see their work. Prices are in CAD $.

11 X 14 original :
Dawn Banning  $600
Dominik Modlinski $1425

24×36 original
Dawn Banning  $2170
Steve Coffey $3235 ( framed)
Rod Charlesworth $3695
Robyn Lake $1950

4ft x 3ft original

Dawn Banning        $3,950
Dominik Modlinski   $8,175
Robyn Lake             $4125
Bob Kebic               $5,450
Robert Genn 30×48 $33,850
Philip Craig 3ftx3ft    $9,500

As written in my website, prices are determined by & in agreement to my dealers. Art Dealers base their decision on pricing collectively on artist skill, demand of work, consistency, history of selling, etc.
Artists usually maintain standard pricing across studios & galleries for artists.
I have within my representation. ( at one point galleries in Montreal, Ottawa, Saskatoon, & Kelowna).

Original work is rarely discounted because it has lasting investment value.
Original art equals scarcity. How often do you purchase something the only of its kind IN THE WORLD?
This is just one reason why the investment holds compared to cars, bulk furniture, iPhones and lawn mowers.

Previously I have written about gallery commissions/ art fair costs/ & benefits of having representation.( click on highlighted text).
I have shared commission structure, prints vs original, guidelines in buying art & how to spot something fishy.

I am honoured my advice is sought out by clients,dealers and artists. Clients inquire about expanding their collection, what dealers/ galleries are reputable, how to display artwork, and growing their own creativity.
I have assisted professional artists with their gallery approach, marketing, to define demographic & their style. They reach out to someone who understands the pressure & demands of an artistic career. Dealers may need a thoughtful ear when handling artists.

I participated in my first Arts Council exhibit when was 14.
The youngest member of the local arts council at 17, became a member of CARFAC at the same age. Art fans have been collecting my work for over 30 years.

Art gallery management experience in two provinces, ( BC & Sask) contributes to my own business success. My work has been featured in the National Post, Homes Magazine, and covered in various newspapers. I was invited to Artists for Conservation in 2009, and on a 30 day boreal expedition in 2011.

I have written a FREE Ebook, available for anyone to download from this website.

Donating work to Cancer Centers, Youth Centers, hospitals, funds from sales to National & International Conservancy charities are various ways I contribute to humanity & conservancy.

Before becoming a full time artist I worked as a travel agent, painting a mural campaign to attract clients. Freehand children & office murals have peppered my career, including a massive pink elephant on the side of a container.

I have waited tables and sold advertising, cleaned hotels & canned beer. I unloaded boxes in shipping departments and jumped out of helicopters during arctic exploration.
I volunteered at Women’s shelter, marathons, search & rescue  and Ironman.
When time allowed, I honed my skill with one constant in my life, ART.

Artists worry I may not understand what it is like to practice art in stolen moments at kitchen tables.
The truth is, hands raw from scrubbing public bathrooms still went home to hold a pencil.

Fueling the work is persistence and purpose of making the world & lives better. Not a technical or natural painter, I work hard at improving my skill with the absolute belief the spark I possess for connection to that what lies beyond the edges, lighting & inspiring lives. It is what I have the most of to offer.
“Art is a form of love. Art is the ultimate gift. Art heals life.” Robert Genn

When we talk of value in art, its important to focus on skillI, technique, mastery of colour & brushstroke, consistency & legacy. I  wonder if we should include artists who know of commitment to purpose, and stay the course?
Some of those listed above understand this. Robert Genn never had another job, but he lived his life in such purpose, and he devoted much of his life to freely helping other artists.
“When you sit down to paint or draw, you form yourself into a posture of praise.” Robert Genn


Collection of Three new paintings shipped to the Hambleton Gallery in Kelowna this week!
Check in with Joshua to see these bright new 24×30 originals!
Island 11×14 $600

Amaryliss 30×40 $2700.00

Sun 4ftx2ft $3600

Beach 8×10 $455

Huffington Post declares the number one reason to buy original art:
“it as a postive effect on the environments of the people who own it, “inevitably making life more enriching.”

Where do the landscapes originate?

A common trait/ theory of landscape artists is their work flourishes due to connection of a specific region.Think Monet & his water lily pond, Gauguin in the South pacific or Emily Carr’s Northwest forests.
Modern day landscape artists may reserve focus for places close to heart.

I questioned a famous global traveling painter about his life work devoted to a specific provincial region.
“In other places I am merely a visitor. In this region, I am home,” expressing it would take decades to form emotional attachment to other places.

He wondered what would inspire me to paint diverse landscapes, even, places I had never seen.

Born to nature loving parents, my upbringing was unique.I have no doubt this is the foundation of how I relate to and paint nature.

I feel we are all visitors on & caretakers of this planet, and, yet, also in it’s entirety, earth is our home.

Dad’s career as a Conservation officer ( & Park Superintendent/ Manager) for Saskatchewan parks required us to live within the park.

Staff were transferred frequently to experience the Province’s diversity firsthand.

These parks were often located near First Nation communities. My parents first home was in a northern reserve.
Thou I was young, I still feel the whispers & influences of these wonderful people.

It was amazing living within these glorious parks that ranged from southern peaceful valleys with pristine lakes rich in fishing & birds, to northern boreal forests teaming with wildlife, skies lit with aurora borealis. Summer holidays we would camp & explore other parks.

Often living remotely, we grew up, as my brother says “running wild in the bush”. It was a glorious freedom we still treasure.
Moving frequently taught us an appreciation of landscape (& human) diversity and adaptability. I could fall in love with a new home as quickly as drawing in a breath.

It’s this deeply rooted connection that comes thru in the work, and the diversity that you see.

In adulthood, I have lived in some spectacular regions of Canada. I roamed the Yukon’s arctic tundra, ran Vancouver Island’s ocean beaches and rain forest paths. I wandered Okanagan orchards and Ontario’s Bruce trail in autumn and snowy winter.
International traveling took me walking Australia’s outback, witnessing blooming Scottish heather fields, swimming with stingrays in Cayman and cycling mountains of the Smokeys.

I can still fall in love and feel connected with a ‘new’ landscape in one breath.

“We want the background story.
What is your connection to these places?
How can you can paint landscapes you have never seen?”

New “Windy Day” 8×8 oil on canvas $400
“Forest Nook” 14×18 oil on canvas $825

Who do you live with?

“We are consciously selective of who we invite into our home. It’s our sanctuary.”
My client wasn’t referring to a specific person, rather a painting she had just purchased.
She spoke of teaching their family about conscious consumerism, awareness of valued, ethically sourced items. “And yes,” she said, “ when I place your painting in our home, I am inviting you in to have a place in our family. To influence us, those who visit and our surroundings.

Glenn Adamson former director of the Museum of Arts and Design, NY says “ People have dogs because they give them so much back. Our culture has not forgotten why you’d want to have a dog, but I feel it’s forgotten why you would want to have well made things in your life. That’s something we have to get back in touch with.” ( Psychology Today Aug. 2018).
Referencing his own environment, “I want every object that passes thru the door to deserve to be in the house. Not because its expensive, but because it makes sense. I want to know where it came from, who made it, and ideally, to have met them.”

You invite acquired pieces to engage you daily.
The quality of engagement depends on your selection. Thoughtfully chosen, they can have a positive impact to your health, and the environment.

Living with handmade unique items inspires original ideas, concepts, and stimulates creativity to flourish in those engaging with your collection.You encourage conscious consumerism, community, individuality, sustainability, legacy & innovation.

We are directly influenced mentally, physically & emotionally what surrounds us, and yes, that includes art.

Art & craft exhibit what can be formed from human mind, body & spirit. Empowering not just the creators, but those in their midst.

Trend on social media expresses ‘you can have the items in this room & design from ‘mass produced #bigbox.’
You weren’t made from a mold, perhaps the things you hold dear shouldn’t either? Original & handcrafted doesn’t necessarily mean expensive, and it usually holds or increases in value.

Express your individuality by celebrating, engaging in and living with original art & craft made by a master creative workerbee.

An original table will likely never see a landfill. It will serve your family, and hold loving stories for generations.

“If you don’t care about how something is (made) your are not likely to understand why its worthy of respect and why you’d want to have it. But it’s not just an heirloom you are refusing, you literally lose continuity with your familial past, and thats much more than failing the objects.” Glenn Adamson, author of ‘Fewer, Better Things.

Is your room designed for a magazine or for your life? We spend the majority of our lives indoors, perhaps we need to stop ‘filling spaces’ and begin creating custom healthy environments to thrive in.

Who do you live with?

“SunDance” 5ft x3.3 feet (40×60) oil $5300.oo

“Valley” 24×30 oil ~ will be avail. for purchase at the Hambleton Gallery in Kelowna BC. ( It will be shipped next month).

“Sunset Cloud” 11×14 oil on canvas ~$600.oo

~ P.S

As well as our own art&craft, our home is infused with beautiful work by friends & artists, who’s work we feel so fortunate to engage with and be inspired by daily.

Furniture all handcrafted by Marc Banning. Tables original design.
Pottery Candlesticks- Al Pace- Pace Pottery, ON
Pine needle basket – Yukon.
Original glasswork landscape & pieces shown – FyreGlas Studio – NC
Original pottery bowl ( and all dinnerware) Potterycupboard, ON.
Woven tea towel- Crossnore weavers, NC
Original soapstone carving, Helen Herr, SK.
Original handmade print- David Windrim, ON.
Blue glass plate- Prairie Glassworks, SK
Wooden bowl- gift from local woodcrafter.
Iron birds- Dirk blacksmith, NC ( tile block Motawi tile).

SunDance~ shown in progress ( last photo).

The Path

Ask 3,000 marathon participants why they run, you will hear nearly 3,0000 unique answers.

Question artists why they create, responses will vary as much as their art.

For runners, it may be dedication to a loved one or charity, health, fun, a calling, for the challenge or community, or one thing on ‘THE list’. Some stumble into the sport in retirement, or thru a friends’ avid interest. (It can be delightfully contagious.) It may be a one-time goal, or grow into a lifelong pursuit.

A creative may have no desire for a professional life in art, instead, the goal may be to master one subject( like that one-off running goal) such as drawing the best tulip ever. It’s like perfecting a basketball dribble, without worrying about the game.

Emotional connection to the subject isn’t a necessity for creatives. It can be joy for process itself, love of shape & form, passion for making a difference, cultural exploration, education, sharing visual history or story. The emotional content can be honouring the legacy of a family member or creatives that came before.

My career in art didn’t arrive in a giant epiphany. Rather, it’s a life born in curiosity and persistence.
I am not a natural, nor technical painter. A kindergarten report card stated my lowest mark in ‘colouring’.
Dad says, “She liked to draw, and for a long long time, it didn’t look like anything. Then one day it did.”

Emotional content is the primary strength in all subjects of my work, from animals, people & now, to landscape, where I began, with a history deeply rooted in nature, raised in Provincial parks.

This career is a joyous, challenging, scary, rewarding, winding solo path. It is filled with, among the doubt & loneliness, moments of deep clarity & gratitude.
Thanks for traveling on this colourful loving journey with me.

NEW. Revisiting subjects with renewed style and engagement.
New- Windswept – 11×14 oil on canvas $600.oo
New- Forest 24×30 oil on canvas $1800.oo
Mountain – 3ftx4ft oil on canvas $3950.oo

“They think we are all flow-y inside, that it flows from us like wine without effort or intention. Why is this misconception of ‘it happened accidentally by birth, like magic,’ is more highly regarded than hard work?” Creative colleague.

Other Photos Above:

Participating in the London Marathon & Early drawings I did when a teenager- foot & people studies 1984. Park photo with my brother.


A lover of Nature

” Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature.

It will never fail you.” Frank Lloyd Wright.

New Work!  “Sunset Sky” 18×24 oil on canvas, avail for purchase $1100.oo


Energy Potential

~Energy flows where attention goes.~

In the colourful beautiful animated film “Monsters Inc.”
(spoiler alert) Sulley and Mike discover love & laughter are the most powerful energy sources for fueling their city rather than a previous fear based method. The film portrays a wonderful image of collecting energy from positivity.

This image came to mind while watching a powerful demonstration how loving thoughts provide humans with superior strength in comparison to anger.
The demonstration was by an Oncologist, who’s work focuses on hypnosis (when applicable) instead of anesthesia for patients undergoing cancer treatment.
“Just like Mike & Sulley,” I thought, positive thought, laughter & love are measurable energy strengths.

Startling recent science suggests ‘thought energy’ affects humans on a cellular level.
“Some of the most powerful external signals that influence the health of our cells are the energetic messages which emanate from our thoughts.
Positive or negative, our thoughts have the ability to literally change our bodies and alter our physical health and well being.”

“A renaissance in cellular biology has recently revealed the molecular mechanisms by which thoughts and perceptions directly influence gene activity and cell behaviour.. Energy psychology, through its ability to rapidly identify and reprogram limiting misconceptions, represents the most powerful and effective process to enhance physical and emotional well being.” Bruce H. Lipton author of “Biology of Belief”.

Clients pose the energy question by referring to ‘mood.’
“Do you have to be in the right mood to paint?” or state “ Creativity energy must flow from you like water.”
Professional artists know how much energy it takes to create daily under pressure. Which is why a well known artist recently asked, “I follow your work, and have one question for you…“ are you exhausted all the time?” “Because,” he said, “I know what kind of effort it takes to put out the amount and calibre of work you do.”

Creative energy doesn’t ‘flow like water’ but learning what feeds it is part of the process. Thou Individuals handle this uniquely, as people vary on what sparks or tires us, some universal elements affect energy in artists and non artists alike.
As Mr. Lipton and his colleagues suggest, frame of mind and positive energy are huge factors in health, creative productivity & longevity.

Aside from being conscious of thought, energy generating habits focus on time outdoors in nature, exercise, sleep, mediation, nutrition and balance.
Expanding on this foundation is how I stay on track. Here are three additional tips below.

Tip#1. Know Thyself.
Be aware of what fuels you, what drains you. Focus on the former.
When dealing with difficult people or situations, structure your time for recovery and self care.Set boundaries.
Healthy habits sharpen your instincts. Tune in. Why are you tired? Is it time for a break or a hard run? Listen to your body & spirit.

Tip#2 Declutter and Restructure your space/ furnishings/.
One weight loss theory is to clean your closets.
“Stuff” literally mentally, emotionally, and physically can weigh us down.

How do you move in your spaces? We respond energetically to ‘stuff’ in our environments.
Think of yourself as a swimmer with smooth flow and rhythm in your stoke. Suddenly you encounter a wall, need to climb over the wall, get back in the water, swim, another wall, and over and over again you go.
A swim without barriers is more efficient with less energy spent. Plus it’s way more fun.
Cluttered furniture & items you constantly adjust around disrupts creative flow and energy. Pay thoughtful attention to organizing your dwellings. Have tools/ supplies readily available.
Plants, light, art, colour, scents, music, sound and free flowing spaces all fuel energy. ( The scent of peppermint increases energy for long distance runners wearing tiny vials during a run.)

Tip#3 Take stalk & channel energy. Everything in life requires energy, including creating, focusing on projects/ solutions or conversations that need to take place.
Reframe how you approach tasks & goals. Are the deadlines daunting or wonderfully challenging?
Are you nervous about the presentation, or excited? Do you have to go for a run, or do you get to go for a run?

Think of daily energy as sand in an hourglass. Recognize available amount daily and where you will spend it. How much time will you worry about things you cannot control, how much energy goes down the chute when you do? Electronics can be especially draining. What is sacrificed when you allot to unnecessary screen time on FB? Experts say head position gazing at phones/ tablets puts an extra 60 pounds of pressure on our neck. Imagine how much energy this costs and how it affects overall health. Additionally, for artists, screen time is wearing on eyesight and dexterity.
Be conscious of how you spend your time, apply what increases your positive fuel cell like those in Monsters Inc.
Shawn Anchor, author of “The Happiness Advantage” writes “It turns out that our brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative or even neutral, but when they are positive.”
“Because positive brains have a biological advantage over brains that are neutral or negative, The Happiness Advantage teaches us how to retrain our brains to capitalize on positivity and improve our productivity and performance.”

Perspective changes our energy. You are in the driver’s seat of possibility.
Further reading:
Biology of Belief by Bruce H. Lipton
The Happiness Advantage Shawn Anchor
Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hansen

New Work: Island 8×10 oil on board $455.oo
Waterlily Garden 12×36 oil on canvas ( infused with new palette!) $1200.oo
Summer Lake Diamonds 18×24 oil on canvas $1100.oo

Note: Studio/ store will remain open for art purchases, thou likely my LAST post till Mid august. Until deadline, focus will be on painting & writing documentation for the exhibit.

Power of Colour

The human eye can distinguish up to 10 million colours.
How on earth can anyone choose a favourite?

People react universally to colours found in nature, like moss greens, aqua blues, and earthy umbers.
The jury is still out to what intensity, because we all experience colour uniquely.
The next time you view a Van Gogh, the person standing next to you in the museum may be seeing an entirely different version.

Colour affects us psychologically, emotionally, and physically.
It can be used to treat obesity, invoke productivity, and calm patients with mental illness.
Universal human reactions include green and blues as the most calming, while the most stimulating are reds & oranges.
Aside from these, everyone has unique colour connection or sensitivity. Colour can stimulate memories, hunger, communication, strength and serenity. You may be drawn to robin’s egg blue, the colour of your childhood blanket, or comforted by rose pigment because of Grama’s rose water scent.

Thou you may not list “yellow” as a favourite colour, its psychologically the strongest, and the first colour the eye sees.

Yellow ochre, a natural clay may not be great for a blouse, but wheat fields shine with it in the sun’s golden glow. Against a cobalt sky promising welcome rain, it can be dramatic and powerful.

Still not sold?
It’s the colour of dijon mustard in your favourite sandwich, golden retrievers, and one of the earliest pigments found in prehistoric cave paintings.

Artists may balance strength of colour with subject.
For instance, a softer palette is paired with a dramatic ocean scene of strong pattern and shape.

A stimulating tangerine palette applied to a less active composition doesn’t overwhelm, inspiring serenity in the sunset lakeside vista.

The Amaryllis flower, painted in cad red’s contrasts with beautiful sensual line and the irony of a feminine subject displayed on large canvas.

We may react differently to colour at different phases or even days in life. People arriving to the studio stressed are usually drawn to serene, less detailed paintings. Others looking for cheerful powerful stimuli will respond to full pigment paintings. I switch my own personal collection around to support life events & changes.

Delving into your experiences with colour, you may be able to embrace more of the spectrum without judgement.
I cannot remember ever using hot pink pigment. Recently wearing a cycling jersey this colour kept me road safe and feeling spunky. It just may find it’s way to my palette.

Inquiring about the Amarylis painting a client said “I am drawn to red at this point in my life.” It’s an exciting time for her filled with wonderful new beginnings.

Here’s to summer friends! May mossy green forests, golden ochre fields, cobalt skies, tangerine sunsets and happy red flowers light your life.
Robert Genn Aug. 7th. 2012.
“Some painters nail the exact colour they need on the first go. I’m not one of them. In my experience, 90% share my problem. Colours change as the colours change around them — and you can’t know the colour of a passage until you’re picking up what you’re putting down. The situation is  compounded by the presence of (or desirability for) reflected lights, silhouettes, local colours, broken colours, cast shadows, equal intensity lay-bys, etc. Finding the right colour can be like looking for the Higgs boson.Understanding how colour works is largely a self taught skill.”

Colour is a power which directly influences the soul” ~ Wassily Kandinsky.

Sunset – 8×10 oil on board $455.oo
Lakeside 16×20 oil on canvas $935.oo
Ocean – 4ftx3ft oil on canvas $3950.oo
Evening Light 4ftx2ft oil on canvas $3600.oo
Amaryllis 30×40 oil on canvas $2700.oo